ADULT ONSET ACNE
Acne is the medical term used to describe outbreaks of pimples, whiteheads, large cysts and blackheads. It usually affects teenagers and young adults undergoing hormonal changes but is becoming increasingly common in adult women.
Acne develops when oil and dead cells block oil glands and skin pores and trap protein and sebum – your skin’s natural oil – under the skin. A range of factors can bring on acne or make it worse, including:
Hormones and genes; if a parent had severe acne you’re more likely to have it.
Higher levels of sex hormones, called androgens, cause oil glands to enlarge and produce more sebum. The more sebum, the more likely acne will be a problem.
In women, an imbalance of male and female hormones can cause breakouts. This can happen during pregnancy and around menopause.
AVOID washing your skin too often. Makeup should be thoroughly removed before going to bed. Keep hair clean and off your face and neck as oil from hair can make acne worse.
AVOID picking and squeezing pimples – it can make acne worse and lead to scarring.
WATCH out for foods that seem to aggravate your acne. High-gi foods like white bread, sugary drinks, and processed foods are thought to trigger the production of androgens.
AVOID strongly scented or alcohol-based products. Use products that won’t clog pores, labelled as oil-free or non-comedogenic.
TRY over-the-counter acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide, which has an antibacterial action and encourages your skin to shed its surface layer of dead skin
TOPICAL retinoids, antibacterial or antibiotic creams or lotions, antibiotics, or oral contraceptives may be prescribed.
seek a dermatologist’s help if the acne becomes severe. Like eczema and psoriasis, it can be very hard to live with and a dermatologist can offer a range of options.
WHAT ABOUT SCARS?
Acne causes different types of scars. Most of the time those brownish or reddish marks that are left behind will disappear with time. Although picking or squeezing pimples can cause scars, most serious scarring – thickened or raised or deeply indented – is caused by severe forms of acne. The best approach is to get treatment for acne soon after it appears. Dermatologists usually treat surface scarring by laser resurfacing, chemical peels or dermabrasion. Deeper scarring can be treated by using filling agents. Be aware that treatments can have side effects including skin pigmentation, redness and allergy.